Categories
Elections Government Politics Truth

The States Have Spoken

by Rep. Julio Gonzalez

Thankfully, the 2016 election is over. The states have instructed the national government about the direction in which they want it to go, and their directive is as clear as it is resounding:

Get the heck out of our business!

Yes. It was the states that delivered the message on election night.

If we look at the popular vote, no candidate got a majority. In fact, Clinton edged Trump by a slim margin on the popular vote (~0.16% of the vote), but only achieved a plurality (47.69% to Trump’s 47.45%). Moreover, a substantial amount of Clinton’s popular support was concentrated in only four areas of the country: New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and California. So, seen from the standpoint of the popular vote, the nation arrived at neither a consensus nor a mandate.

Now, let’s look at the results from the standpoint of the states, including Washington, D.C., which has a say in the presidential election. Here, once the final electoral votes are tabulated, Trump will have won a solid 29 states to Clinton’s 22 (56%-44%) with a total of 306 electoral votes to Clinton’s 232, (56%-44%).

So, whereas the voice of the people was indecisive, the voice of the states was resounding.

The States have spoken.

What did they say?

Get the Heck Out of Our Business!

The overarching priority for the states is maintaining their rights. Translation: push back against the federal government. So, in essence the states told the feds to get out of their business.

More specifically, stop having bureaucratic insiders and media types determine the direction for the country. Stop colluding amongst yourselves. Stop telling the rest of us how to run our healthcare systems. Stop telling us how to tax our citizens. Stop setting up conditions just so that we may earn back the money our people gave you. Stop telling us our children cannot pray in schools because your courts deem it to be “offensive.” (Yes, that’s a quote.)

We’re tired of being told that separation of church and state means erasing all signs of God from the public forum. That’s not the way the Framers intended, and it is not the way the overwhelming number of our citizens want it.

And while we’re at it, we resoundingly reject political correctness (here, take a big dose of Donald J. Trump). And for Pete’s sake, stop instructing us on the proper method of covering our mouths and noses when we sneeze! It’s none of your business.

But this message was not only delivered through the presidential election. The congressional elections delivered the mandate. Recall that the House kept its majority, as did the Senate despite the overwhelming predictions to the contrary.

And in case you were wondering, this opinion was not formulated as a result of a review of polls or surveillance of news reports. Rather, it was delivered to me by the countless people with whom I have spoken in my capacity as State Representative when they shared with me their angsts and concerns for the future of our country.

Having acknowledged the message and its bearer, the question then becomes, what must be done in order to comply with the states’ mandate.

That answer to that question will be coming soon.

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopedic surgeon, lawyer and State Representative for South Sarasota County, Florida.  He is the author of The Federalist Pages, available at www.thefederalistpages.com or at Amazon.  He is available for speaking engagements and can be reached at [email protected].

Categories
Government History Politics Truth

The Brilliance of the Electoral College

By Rod Thomson

As it appears that for the second time this century the United States will elect a president who did not win the popular vote, there are the predictable calls for killing the Electoral College. The same thing occurred in 2000 when Al Gore won the popular vote but George W. Bush won the presidency. In fact, this is the fifth time in U.S. history this has occurred.

But as is often the case, the knee-jerk response overlooks well-designed reasoning. In many ways the Electoral College is yet another example of the brilliance of the Founders and Framers of the Constitution.

They purposely avoided a pure democracy majority rule form of governing at every turn. The reason is simple. Pure democracies do not work. Straight majority-rule democracy is sometimes compared to two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner. That old saw depicts how a simple majority can tyrannize the minority — and inevitably will.

This is human nature. Mankind could never be expected to act selflessly and self-sacrificially for the greater good, so the Founders built in a tension between the three branches of government that harnessed basic human nature to keep government in check. They believed only a self-checking and self-limiting system could keep the tyranny of human nature at bay. And they actually used human nature to accomplish it.

They employed the same thinking for how we elect our government leaders through a process that ensured presidential candidates had to run in all the country, not just the population centers. This was to make sure that a diverse and growing nation would get representation from all sectors and that a President would have to campaign in all regions and demographics.

Here’s how it works

The president and vice president are not elected by popular vote, but by 538 electors — which is essentially the sum total of the House of Representatives, Senate and the District of Columbia. So there is population representation through the number of congressional districts, and state representation through number of Senate seats. This is the math for spreading out the Electoral College.

So when we vote for president and fill in the oval for our candidate, we are actually voting for the slate of electors in our state, who will then officially vote in December for president. If the Democrat wins, the Democratic electors will vote. If the Republican wins, the Republican electors will vote.

This is why 270 is magical number to win the presidency. It is 50 percent plus one of these electors.

With a straight popular vote, presidential candidates would only campaign in the major population centers along the coasts and some big cities inland. Regions such as the upper Midwest and rural South and western mountains would rarely if ever see a candidate. And worse, presidents would then feel free to ignore the interests of people in those regions. Need to dump toxic waste? North Dakota it is!

But with the Electoral College as the method, North Dakota’s three electors just might matter.

In this system, presidential candidates need to build coalitions and campaign nationally. A regional candidate cannot win nationally. A candidate with a narrow base cannot win nationally.

This creates the phenomenon of swing states, which get a hyper-media focus every four years. But those are not in granite. In fact they change all the time. Florida may well be the longest term swing state going forward because of our in-migration patterns from around the nation. But remember, until 1988, California was a reliably Republican state. Kind of astonishing to think about now. And Texas was as solid blue as the came. Virginia and North Carolina were part of the Democrat South, then became part of the Republican South and now are kind of swingy.

What this means, and this is just brilliant, is that no major party can ignore any state for too long without suffering. Even small states. Remember 2000? George W. Bush won that, hanging chads and all, because of Florida, right? Well, yes. But what is forgotten is that Florida would not have mattered if Democrats had not taken West Virginia for granted. It was a solid blue state, they ignored it, and Bush flipped it. That is what made Florida and its huge electoral count relevant. Yet West Virginia only has four electoral votes.

That is the genius of the Electoral College, forcing presidents to create coalitions, campaign nationally and represent even thinly populated areas. Another grand slam by the Framers that is still working.

Categories
Government Politics Truth

Comey Decision Clarifies Our Sacred Duty on Election Day

by Rep. Julio Gonzalez

Clearly, handing Hillary Clinton the keys to the White House under these circumstances flies in the face of the disdain the Founders had against abusive power by a ruling aristocracy.

In the latest action by a seemingly schizophrenic Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to Congress on November 6, two days prior to the presidential election, informing it that after reviewing “all the communications” involving Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State, Comey would not change the conclusion he expressed in July regarding Mrs. Clinton.  Moreover, the announcement comes on the same day we learned that Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin were using Hillary’s housekeeper, a woman with no authority in handling our nation’s secrets, to print up sensitive and classified emails in Clinton’s home and that the Clinton Foundation paid for Mrs. Clinton’s daughter’s wedding.

But the bigger picture surrounding Mrs. Clinton and our present Administration is one involving collusion, corruption, and perhaps even criminal actions at the highest levels of government.  Not only are there questions regarding the administration of the Clinton Foundation and the nexus between the presumed charitable organization and the official activities of the nation’s Secretary of State, but real and significant doubts are raised regarding the Justice Department’s ability to blindly pursue the delivery of justice under the effects of the brazen willingness by its highest members to indiscriminately interfere with their own investigations.

To say that this crass interference with our nation’s laws and procedures is dangerous to the very fabric of our nation’s foundation is no overstatement.

Indeed, the offensiveness of such a blatant disregard for the limits of authority topped the reasons the Founders listed as necessitating the Revolutionary War. In fact, the very first grievance listed by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence was King George’s refusal to “Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good,” and his “obstruct[ion of] the Administration of Justice” — both of which apply to Hillary Clinton.

Clearly, handing Mrs. Clinton the keys to the White House under these circumstances flies in the face of the disdain the Founders had against the abuse of power by a ruling aristocracy. The difference though is that today, we are blessed with the system implemented by those very men and women who fought so valiantly to radically and unprecedentedly change the relationship between man and state. And whereas the duty of which Thomas Jefferson reminded us to institute a new government in the face of a long train of abuses and usurpations had to be exercised through the tip of the musket in his day, today we can do so through the power of the vote.

In two days, the American people will hold the final say on the future course of our great Republic. One path embraces the status quo and will lead us to confront an innumerable number of situations, each with grave constitutional implications and affronts. The other, although uncertain, holds at least the promise of corrections and of the achievement of greater heights as a people and as a nation. There is no choice that will allow us to navigate between these two diametrically opposed futures.

And although the latter choice may appear as an uncertainty, the former certainly invites the continued destruction of the confidence Americans have in their nation’s leaders and perhaps the peaceful coexistence of the various branches of government.

Seen under this light, Comey’s about-face leaves only one choice, the same one exercised by our Founders when faced with a similar question.  On Tuesday, we must, in the words of Jefferson, exercise our right. . . no . . . our duty, “to throw off such Government and to provide new Guards for our future security.”

That choice is Donald Trump.

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopedic surgeon, lawyer and most recently author of The Federalist Pages, available at thefederalistpages.com or at Amazon.

Categories
Economy Government Truth

4 Reasons the Government Cannot Run the Economy

We continually see the relative failure of government actions to manipulate the economy to function at just the right, optimal level. There is a reason. Even if government was peopled by actual experts with a deep and wise understanding of economics, such actions would remain doomed to failure.

It’s not that an economy as powerful as the United States’ cannot endure government meddling for some period. But the meddling inevitably is harmful and hamstrings the economy. Conversely, it does allow politicians and government officials to posture for voters, which, mixed with well-intentioned ignorance, is the point of the action.

Here are four reasons why such interventions are doomed to fail.

1) Top down is not how economies operate

The government approaches the economy from the top down, considering it a contained engine that just needs to cool off, heat up, be stimulated, etc. This totally misunderstands an economy anywhere, but particularly in a quasi free-market economy. In this type of economy, but in all economies to a degree, decisions are made by millions of people. In the interconnected global economy, by billions of people.

Millions of people making individual decisions in unpredictable ways is not how an engine works. Engines are defined and explained. Millions of individual decisions are like micro organisms that result in the creation of ever changing markets and economies.

2) The inevitability of cycles

Economies will always cycle. Allowing self-correction is what would happen if it was understood that millions of people are making decisions and politicians were primarily interested in what is best for the most. Alas, self-correction is verboten!

Instead we get constant interference from centralized planning agencies in Washington, D.C., or Brussels, Belgium. Rather than the free market elevating what people want and dumping what people do not want so resources are allocated accordingly and efficiently — a process called “creative destruction” — government involves itself and makes the situation worse.

3) Bubbles and troubles

Bubbles are good and natural. Well, the natural ones are good. Bubbles happen organically in industries where there is creative destruction going on. New technology spawns a lot of competing companies, but only the best survive and thrive and the weaker are dumped. This is determined by millions of consumers’ decisions, not by government. Computers and smartphones are examples of how this worked fairly naturally, and the economy’s resources went to Apple and Samsung and away from Nokia and Motorola.

Some bubbles are government created. The real estate bubble that popped in 2007 happened when the government created laws requiring banks to lend to people who could not afford a mortgage so they would have the opportunity own a house. Great politics. Terrible policy. Naturally this generated a huge bubble in housing prices because of all the increased demand. When the economy cycled down, many of those people who should not have received a mortgage in the first place defaulted and we saw a downward spiral effect in which nearly everyone was hurt.

But there was a predictable compounding effect as government interfered further to fix what it had broke. After the housing bust, politicians such as George W. Bush and on a greater scale, Barack Obama, instituted more and more policies that made things worse and worse. Each step laid the groundwork for less market freedom, meaning less individual freedom, and consequently more government interference and control. The result was a historically long recession now called the Great Recession — mimicking in name, dynamics and causation the Great Depression.

4) Mixing in conflicting goals

Government works at odds with itself when trying to keep the economy humming — another engine metaphor. It is constantly issuing hundreds and thousands of new rules that businesses must learn and live under. These usually use up some resources that could be better deployed, and the actions ends up dampening the economy. They also consistently collide with the law of unintended consequences.

Minimum wage laws are an example of hurting those people they are intended to help. The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is another example as costs have skyrocketed and the system is crumbling. And bringing this around, the Dodd-Frank financial reform act that was aimed at avoiding the financial fall-out of another real estate bubble and bailing out banks has had the perverse effect of creating even larger banks — banks too big to fail.

Government cannot run an economy because no one can. The economy that most prospers everyone is one in which individuals have maximum freedom in their consumer choices and in starting and running businesses. The economy the government runs most benefits those in government.